Ode to the Kyusu

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Victoria
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Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:52 pm

Chip wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:24 pm
Victoria wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:24 pm
Ohhh, a very beautiful filter. Nice to see this special kyusu found a good home. Does the shudei clay feel any different from other burnished (namamigaki) ones you have? Well it looks shiny from burnishing, it could be something else in the clay that gives this effect.
I notice this w/ many kyusu featuring physically altered or manipulated exteriors such as Kenji, Yoshiki, Gyokuryu, etc where the exterior is more polished looking while the interior is rougher clay.

Could it be from rubbing during the manipulation of the exterior, namamigaki (Hojo) or a thin "slip" layer of finer or more filtered clay added to the exterior?

I could only speculate ...
@Chip, wonder if you can ask Toru about shinny exterior on some Tokoname kyusu. With the sculpted exterior on yours it looks like very fine clay is used and fired at higher temperatures so exterior melting point is higher than interior, causing a shiny surface. Just a thought, since I too have a few shudei Tokoname kyusu that are shinier on exterior than interior and don’t look burnished.

Left: Hokujo twisted spout Shudei clay with shinny exterior
Right: Shimizu Ken Nosaka clay without Namamigaki (not burnished)

724B58CF-192E-49B5-836A-9FB8DA319DD2.jpeg
724B58CF-192E-49B5-836A-9FB8DA319DD2.jpeg (55.82 KiB) Viewed 1086 times
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Darbotek
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Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:32 pm

jpo1933 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:20 pm
Darbotek wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:21 pm

It’s something special for sure. I’m minimizing my teaware and wanted a few very special pieces and this is one of them. He must still be making some one offs, because I have a hohin on the way from Chaki Chaki. Thes Du Japon gets some of his stuff still too.
Lucky you :D I've wanted one of his houhins for a long time. I was just never able to muster up the courage through to actually pay for one, though. Beautiful stuff though.
Hope you can post a few pictures of it when you get the chance!

I didn't know about Thes/Chaki carrying some of his teawares. I took a look over at Chaki, and it looks like they really had some nice pots of his up, of course now all sold out now. I imagine he still has a lot of stuff over the years that hasn't sold yet that he's holding on to and that people over at Chaki and TDJ probably are able to source directly from him. When I purchased a teapot made by him from awhile ago at teashop in Tokyo they told me that since he's now retired his pots have been more difficult to come by and that was lucky to get one. I suppose there's always a chance he came out of retirement to make to put out a few more pots though :)
Not lucky, just poorly managing money I made from selling other tea ware lol. I will absolutely post pictures! Got a used tetsubin today as well that I am doing the tea treatment on so I want to wait to have tea.

Thes says the same thing. I'm wondering if its old stock or he just makes a few here and there for pure enjoyment that he then sells.
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Darbotek
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Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:33 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:52 pm

Left: Hokujo twisted spout Shudei clay with shinny exterior

Seeing a Hokujo in Shudei is like the first time I noticed my Dad without his glasses on. Had to do a double take.
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Victoria
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Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:09 pm

Darbotek wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:33 pm
Victoria wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:52 pm
Left: Hokujo twisted spout Shudei clay with shinny exterior
Seeing a Hokujo in Shudei is like the first time I noticed my Dad without his glasses on. Had to do a double take.
Yes, Shimizu Genji, Hokujo kiln, worked with Shudei (red clay) before getting into his now signature high fired unglazed stoneware, Yakishime.
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debunix
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Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:31 pm

Realized I'd never posted about this little gem, purchased from KyaraZen via forum swap:

Image

It's a lefty pot, and fits so marvelously in my hand when I pour. It's quite small, probably 70mL, and made by Shimizu Ken from Nosaka clay, about which Hojo says this:

"The Nosaka clay selectively increases the aftertaste of tea but not so much obvious in increasing the body. The tea brewed in Nosaka gives a transparent, clear and smooth image. Moreover, the flavor of tea becomes softer, yet long lasting."

Image

Since I adore aftertaste, and long sessions, this impact on tea is ideal for me. I'm not sure I've ever really done a porcelain vs this vs other clay head to head, but I don't feel pressured to, because this pot does what I want and honors the gyokuro.

Image
Noonie
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Sun Mar 15, 2020 1:23 pm

debunix wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:31 pm
Realized I'd never posted about this little gem, purchased from KyaraZen via forum swap:

Image

It's a lefty pot, and fits so marvelously in my hand when I pour. It's quite small, probably 70mL, and made by Shimizu Ken from Nosaka clay, about which Hojo says this:

"The Nosaka clay selectively increases the aftertaste of tea but not so much obvious in increasing the body. The tea brewed in Nosaka gives a transparent, clear and smooth image. Moreover, the flavor of tea becomes softer, yet long lasting."

Image

Since I adore aftertaste, and long sessions, this impact on tea is ideal for me. I'm not sure I've ever really done a porcelain vs this vs other clay head to head, but I don't feel pressured to, because this pot does what I want and honors the gyokuro.

Image
Wow that's a looker!
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Victoria
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Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:11 pm

debunix wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:31 pm
Since I adore aftertaste, and long sessions, this impact on tea is ideal for me. I'm not sure I've ever really done a porcelain vs this vs other clay head to head, but I don't feel pressured to, because this pot does what I want and honors the gyokuro.

Image
Beautiful light hugging the surface of the sculptural pieces. How does it feel to use a lefty? I’m left handed but have gotten used to using my right hand to pour, so wonder if you find yourself thinking twice before using. I like pairing my Shimizu Ken Nosaka with sencha and also high mountain oolong.

And that awesome yunomi with seashells, is that an Iga piece by Watanabe Aiko (渡辺愛子)? A nod to clay from the ancient bottom of lake Biwa. Deserves its own post it is so special. Wow.
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debunix
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Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:23 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:11 pm
How does it feel to use a lefty? I’m left handed but have gotten used to using my right hand to pour, so wonder if you find yourself thinking twice before using. I like pairing my Shimizu Ken Nosaka with sencha and also high mountain oolong.
I do have to do a bit of internal pause/reset on my pouring with my lefty kyusu. But I never hesitate to use it because of that. It's more like it's a treat to use something made for me.
Victoria wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:11 pm
And that awesome yunomi with seashells, is that an Iga piece by Watanabe Aiko (渡辺愛子)? .....Deserves its own post it is so special. Wow.
No, the dramatic Yunomi is from Cory Lum.

I'll figure out where to share it--plenty of photos available already prepared to show it off.
twno1
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Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:16 am

I'm currently in Japan and ordered a Shigaraki-yaki shiboridashi and a Tokoname-yaki mogake kyusu. Do I need to season either of these clays or do I just rinse with boiling water and start brewing?
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Victoria
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Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:25 am

twno1 wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:16 am
I'm currently in Japan and ordered a Shigaraki-yaki shiboridashi and a Tokoname-yaki mogake kyusu. Do I need to season either of these clays or do I just rinse with boiling water and start brewing?
Hello and Welcome to TeaForum. Just rinse with hot water and use. Would love to see photos of your new kyusu. Congratulations.
twno1
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Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:10 am

I'm currently in Japan and have done a lot of online shopping for kyusu. I noticed that the tokoname artist Gyokko (玉光) has a lot of teapots that have two variants: red and black. The red ones are labeled as 朱泥 (shudei) but are cheaper than their black counterparts. Is it safe to assume this "shudei" is an artificially mixed shudei?
Victoria wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:25 am
twno1 wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:16 am
I'm currently in Japan and ordered a Shigaraki-yaki shiboridashi and a Tokoname-yaki mogake kyusu. Do I need to season either of these clays or do I just rinse with boiling water and start brewing?
Hello and Welcome to TeaForum. Just rinse with hot water and use. Would love to see photos of your new kyusu. Congratulations.
It's arriving sometime this week so once I get it I will definitely post pictures!
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Victoria
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Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:18 pm

twno1 wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:10 am
I'm currently in Japan and have done a lot of online shopping for kyusu. I noticed that the tokoname artist Gyokko (玉光) has a lot of teapots that have two variants: red and black. The red ones are labeled as 朱泥 (shudei) but are cheaper than their black counterparts. Is it safe to assume this "shudei" is an artificially mixed shudei?
The black clay kyusu are reduction fired, the red oxidation fired. Removing oxygen in the kiln turns red clay black. If you visit Tokoname you might enjoy meeting Asako Isobe who has a large ceramic store with many artisanal kyusu.
  • Asako Isobe: contact via web site, Facebook Messenger, or visit her large store, Ceramall in Tokoname. Her boutique web site may not have everything she has in stock or can source. Let her know that TeaForum sent you.
Also, our Travel section has lots of information from members visiting Japan as well.
twno1
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Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:09 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:18 pm
twno1 wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:10 am
I'm currently in Japan and have done a lot of online shopping for kyusu. I noticed that the tokoname artist Gyokko (玉光) has a lot of teapots that have two variants: red and black. The red ones are labeled as 朱泥 (shudei) but are cheaper than their black counterparts. Is it safe to assume this "shudei" is an artificially mixed shudei?
The black clay kyusu are reduction fired, the red oxidation fired. Removing oxygen in the kiln turns red clay black. If you visit Tokoname you might enjoy meeting Asako Isobe who has a large ceramic store with many artisanal kyusu.
  • Asako Isobe: contact via web site, Facebook Messenger, or visit her large store, Ceramall in Tokoname. Her boutique web site may not have everything she has in stock or can source. Let her know that TeaForum sent you.
Also, our Travel section has lots of information from members visiting Japan as well.
Thank you for the recommendations but unfortunately I don't have time to go to Tokoname. Even if I did I'm sure everything would be closed at the moment due to COVID19. I will definitely be sure to visit them on my next trip though.
Regarding the tokoname clay - are they simply using the "shudei" label as an indicator for the color then? Should I even bother obsessing over supposed clay type for sub $100 USD kyusu?
For example:
http://isobe.shop-pro.jp/?pid=118621548
http://isobe.shop-pro.jp/?pid=118621697
Both of these should be of the same clay right, just fired differently. Would the 朱泥 one have the famous 朱泥 properties (porousness) or are all "lower end" kyusu today made with artificially mixed clay?
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Victoria
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Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:25 pm

twno1 wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:09 pm
Regarding the tokoname clay - are they simply using the "shudei" label as an indicator for the color then? Should I even bother obsessing over supposed clay type for sub $100 USD kyusu?
Yes, shudei means red clay. Maybe share a few kyusu you are thinking about getting. Besides clay type, you need to consider kyusu size and filter used. Aesthetics is the most important factor for me when choosing a kyusu, then type of tea I’ll use it for - which is when size, and filter type comes into play. Most (with some notable exceptions) Tokoname clays are fairly neutral and don’t alter results too much when steeping Japanese green teas.
twno1
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Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:14 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:25 pm
twno1 wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:09 pm
Regarding the tokoname clay - are they simply using the "shudei" label as an indicator for the color then? Should I even bother obsessing over supposed clay type for sub $100 USD kyusu?
Yes, shudei means red clay. Maybe share a few kyusu you are thinking about getting. Besides clay type, you need to consider kyusu size and filter used. Aesthetics is the most important factor for me when choosing a kyusu, then type of tea I’ll use it for - which is when size, and filter type comes into play. Most (with some notable exceptions) Tokoname clays are fairly neutral and don’t alter results too much when steeping Japanese green teas.
I'd prefer ball or sasame filter type.
I bought a beautiful Sakura Mt Fuji Kyusu by Gyokko but after using it for about a week, I've come to realize that it's too big for 1 person (290ml) and kinda annoying to clean.
I ended up ordering an "ultra flat" kyusu by Sekiryu which should arrive sometime today. It's much smaller at 170ml and seems like it will be much easier to clean.
Will I be able to find any "special" Tokoname clays if I'm only looking at kyusu under $100 USD? Most of the kyusu I've seen shopping online do not specify a specific clay type...
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